Yet, the digital medium is achingly crucial and relevant to our time. And in the past couple of years, Kang found a silver lining.
For six months between 2015 and 2016, Kang was a resident digital artist at London's Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum. It eventually culminated in a large-scale digital projection mapping installation in the museum, sponsored by Samsung. "On the final day of my exhibition, the curator came up to me, "Yiyun, I want to buy your piece." "Really?," I was so excited and the discussion began." The purchase discussion spanned a year. Reason being, this was the first recorded digital projection mapping purchase, and no one knew how to purchase a piece of digital art on this scale.
"The curators were so excited about it. So, how are we going to do this? Is this a video, is this film, what is it?" It was essentially a moving image cast on the artefacts within the V&A museum. Curators wanted to buy the software file, yet they were afraid that the software might soon become obsolete in a couple of years' time. Afterall, the number of projection mapping softwares went from zero to 30 in under a decade.
The purchase eventually went through. From Kang's knowledge, other museums across the globe joined in the conversation, and made this purchase a case study for future digital art purchases.
"For me, that was a mega moment. They purchased the entire installation. It seems that it is worth it to keep it. It is a new form of art and they bought it to conserve it for the next generation. In the larger context, media art is no longer a separate technology. There are a lot of issues and discussions about media art as a mere technique."
In fact, beyond Kang, there are a dozen other digital projection mapping artists who are making a mark. They include Pablo Valbuena, a Spanish artist whose notable 2007 work, titled "Augmented Sculpture" has toured numerous cities and museums.